Barbara Twardus Merit Award
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SPS High School Athletic Hall of Fame • Seattle WA
The Barbara Twardus Merit Award was created in 2018 to honor a community member for their outstanding support of Seattle Public Schools, specifically the Athletic Program. This honoree exemplifies integrity, leadership, and community involvement, which parallels the values of Seattle Public Schools Athletics. Barbara Twardus served 25 years as an administrator, including 23 years as an athletic director within the Seattle School District. She was the first woman Director of Athletics in the Seattle Public School District. A director for the Metro League for 14 years, she managed and organized tournaments for most sports. She was also past president of the Washington Secondary School Athletic Administrators Association (WSSAAA) and served on numerous other Washington Interscholastic Activities Association (WIAA) committees. As a member of the (WIAA) Executive Board for 10 years, Barbara went onto serve as president in 1986-1987. In addition, she was a member of the WIAA Representative Assembly. In 1976, Barbara was a member of the Title IX Compliance Steering Committee. She has written many articles and given presentations on athletic safety, women’s athletics and the purpose of interscholastic programs. Considered by many to be a model athletic director, Barbara was at the forefront of legal issues involving football helmet construction and equality for girls in sports. Barbara was part of the National Interscholastic Athletic Administrators Association (NIAAA) original organizing committee. She served as the first Chairperson of the Political Action and Resolutions Committee, from 1978 to 1982. In 1985, she was the first President of the National Interscholastic Athletic Administrators Association (NIAAA) from Washington State. During her tenure, Barbara developed the beginning of the first POP Manual, still currently in use today, to provide a valuable resource for each incoming class of NIAAA leadership. Barbara has been inducted into the WSSAAA Hall of Fame and the National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS) Hall of Fame. She was also inducted into the NIAAA Hall of Fame in 2011. She has been awarded the NIAAA Award of Merit, the association’s highest honor, and a NFHS Citation for athletic directors in 1978. Barbara has retired to Phoenix, Arizona. Even in her retirement, she still finds time for speaking engagements and inspiring the will of others to create change.
Barbara Twardus